BlackCreek Labs Bronco, Bison Lineup: From Varmints To Big Game

Zac K
by Zac K
A BlackCreek Labs Bronco Howitzer in the wild, where it was intended to be used. [BlackCreek Labs]

Canadian shooters are currently trying to navigate a legal tangle that saw practically all semi-auto rifles banned a few months back, with changes that now allow those rifles to continue in usage, but more bans coming and… blah blah blah. It’s almost impossible to keep on top of it all, but the gun industry up north is doing its best, and the BlackCreek Labs Bronco/Bison lineup is proof.

Canada @ TFB:

Based in the province of Ontario, BlackCreek Labs, aka BCL, makes a little bit of everything; they have a proprietary semi-auto action, sort of an AR180-pattern design (like most Canadian-made semi-autos). BlackCreek Labs also makes pistols. But in recent years, they’ve turned to also producing bolt-action rifles that look like tactical semi-autos, if you could just ignore the bolt handle sticking out of the side of the receiver.

Currently, BlackCreek Labs sells two proprietary bolt-actions, the MRX Supershort and the TRX Short Action. The MRX is a so-called “micro-action,” for cartridges like .300 Blackout, .223 Wylde or 7.62×39, with a 60-degree throw. The MRX action can take AR-pattern mags, but it can also use a proprietary mag that carries 20 rounds but does not fit into an AR or other semi-auto rifle. This is important in Canadian law, as it allows MRX to sell the 20-rounder for its bolt guns, legally.

The TRX action is used for .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor and similar cartridges. It also has a 60-degree throw and feeds from double-stack mags.

These actions are produced in three separate series of rifles: the MRX Bronco, the TRX Bronco and the MRX Bison. All these rifles use a TriggerTech REM700 field trigger and can fit AR-pattern grips and stocks.

MRX Bronco

These are sold as sort of utility rifles, with PDS and Howitzer sub-models.

BlackCreek Labs MRX Bronco PDS. [BlackCreek Labs]
The BlackCreek Labs MRX Bronco PDS is marketed as a hog hunter-style rifle. It comes with a full-length Picatinny rail on the receiver, a 10-inch forend with M-LOK slots for accessories and a collapsible stock. The barrel length is 12.5 or 16.5 inches.
BlackCreek Labs Bronco Howitzer. [BlackCreek Labs]
Like the PDS, the MRX Bronco Howitzer uses the Bronco ACS (Adaptable Chassis System), but with only a 7-inch forend. A collapsible stock gets an overall length down to 19 inches, making this one of the most compact centerfire rifles you can get. Buyers can install a proprietary “safety wedge” that locks the safety in the On position when the stock is folded, so the gun cannot be fired and law enforcement can’t get too ornery about the length of the rifle. The barrel length is 9.5 or 12.5 inches, with 1-8 twist and weight of 6 pounds.

TRX Bronco

There are three rifles in this lineup: the Scout, the Hunter and the Howitzer.

BlackCreek Labs TRX Bronco Howitzer. [BlackCreek Labs]
The BlackCreek Labs TRX Bronco Howitzer is similar to the scaled-down MRX version. It’s supposed to be a high-powered, compact survival rifle, with its folding stock getting overall length down to as low as 19 inches long; a 12.5-inch barrel and even a 9.5-inch barrel are available, which would no doubt create quite a fireball in a short-action cartridge like .308 Winchester. The Howitzer comes with a 7-inch forend version of the Bronco ACS and a weight of only 5.5 pounds. It’s intended to be used with a red dot or iron sights. It also has the FSS (Folding Safety System) as an option to prevent firing when the stock is folded.
Black Creek Labs TRX Bronco Scout. [BlacKCreek Labs]
The Bronco Scout is much the same idea, with the two-piece chassis extended with a 10-inch forend and collapsible stock instead of a folder. A full Picatinny-style rail still runs atop the receiver and barrel, with M-LOK slots for accessories. Optional barrel lengths are 12.5 or 16.5 inches, and like the Howitzer, it comes with a 1-10 twist. Although it’s bigger than the Howitzer, the Scout still only weighs 6 pounds; BCL bills it as “a compact, accurate rifle for the ranch, range or backcountry.”
BlackCreek Labs TRX Bronco Hunter. [BlackCreek Labs]
The TRX lineup ends with the Bronco Hunter, which is exactly what its name suggests. This big game rifle comes in your choice of .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor. The Picatinny rail does not run the full length of the barrel (your choice of 16.5- or 18.5-inch length), to keep weight down; BlackCreek Labs assumes the owner will install a standard rear-mount scope on the shorter rail over the receiver. A folding stock is standard, and this rifle weighs 7 pounds.

MRX Bison

BlackCreek Labs MRX Bison. [BlackCreek Labs]
This is a slightly older version of the bolt-action lineup, currently available in 7.62×39, 300 Blackout or 5.56 NATO. A 12.5-inch or 16.5-inch barrel is available, and the Bison is also intended as a sort of saddle gun, an overall farm-and-ranch utility rifle. The difference between this and the Bronco series is the Bison Monolithic Chassis it uses, which drives weight up to 6.9 pounds. It uses a collapsible AR-15 stock, not a folder.

BCL around the world

While BlackCreek Labs is a small company, they do ship rifles to other markets where there’s interest in bolt-actions with modern sporting rifle features. You can find Aussie YouTuber reviews, and Canadian, but not many American videos yet. That means that U.S. pricing is basically non-existent, although Canadian pricing usually starts around $1,100 CAD, depending on the model.

Want more photos or info? Check out the BlackCreek Labs site here.

Zac K
Zac K

Professional hoser with fudd-ish leanings.

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